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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Liver Cancer, Signs To Look For

Many people die every year of this.

Hey folks,

The big news this past week was the passing of Boxing Legend, Joe Frazier, of Liver Cancer. He was just 67 years old. This has prompted many to look into just what Liver Cancer really is. What causes it. How its Treated. ETC.

Many people die every year of this. You do not have to be Famous. Some of what you know is true, but some more information is always good to have. So lets look at Liver Cancer today, in today's Health and Science Segment.

Of course, when you have someone like Joe Frazier die of Cancer, it gets the World's attention. According to Yahoo Health - What Caused Joe Frazier's Liver Cancer? By Lisa Collier Cool Nov 08, 2011

Former heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier has lost his biggest fight—against liver cancer. Renowned for being the first to beat Muhammad Ali in the 1971 “Fight of the Century,” with a left hook seen around the world, Smokin’ Joe is also remembered for the dramatic rematch with his legendary rival, the 1975 Thrilla in Manila. The sports world was stunned to learn of the Olympic gold medalist and Hall of Famer’s death Monday at age 67—just one month after his diagnosis.

As recently as September, he was in Las Vegas signing autographs at the MGM Grand Hotel. Earlier this month, his health declined so rapidly that he reportedly began receiving hospice care. Here’s a look at the medical story behind his battle with liver cancer, which strikes about 24,000 Americans a year. Rates of the disease have been rising in the United States over the past several decades, the American Cancer Society reports, and, in other countries, it ranks as a leading cause of death.
I really do not have too much to add to this story. Check it out.

Who gets liver cancer?

The disease is about twice as common in men as women, with the highest rates among Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and African Americans, followed by Native Americans and Latinos. The disease typically strikes people in their 60s, like Frazier.

What are the risk factors?

In the U.S., the #1 risk factor is infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Frazier’s family hasn’t announced if he had HCV, a chronic disease that affects more than 4 million Americans. If he did have hepatitis C, there are several ways he could have caught it. The disease is usually spread through exposure to the blood of an infected person, which could have occurred during a boxing match, since the brutal sport frequently causes blood loss.

Common ways the virus is transmitted include using contaminated needles for IV drug abuse, medical injections, tattooing, or sharing personal items, like razors, with an infected person. Getting a blood transfusion before 1992—when screening of the U.S. blood supply for the virus began—is another possible scenario, since he could have received one to treat boxing injuries in the 1970s. HCV can also be spread through unprotected sex, but sexual transmission is much less common than infection through exposure to tainted blood.

What else can trigger liver cancer?

In other countries, infection with hepatitis B virus is the most common risk factor. HBV is spread in similar ways, but has a higher rate of sexual transmission than HCV. Hepatitis B is more likely to spark noticeable symptoms, such as a flu-like illness and yellowing of the eyes or skin (jaundice), while HCV can silently damage the liver over decades, sometimes leading to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Only a small percent of people with HBV become chronic carriers, while HCV frequently becomes a chronic infection. Other causes of liver cancer include heavy alcohol use, certain inherited metabolic diseases, diabetes (mainly in diabetics who drink heavily), obesity, exposure to toxic chemicals, and use of anabolic steroids, a particular risk factor for athletes.
So just to simplify it a bit. Causes?

HVC
Heavy Drinking of Alcohol
Inherited Metabolic Diseases
Diabetes
If you have Diabetes and Drink you INCREASE your Risk.
Exposure to Toxic Chemicals. {This COULD include Pesticides}
Use of Anabolic Steroids {Which is NOT something that is being attributed to Frazier}

What’s the prognosis for people with liver cancer?

The disease is often fatal within a year of diagnosis. Only 10 percent of people with all stages of the disease combined survive 5 years, and those with advanced disease, as seems to be the case with Frazier since he needed hospice care, the rate is only 2 percent, according to American Cancer Society.
Only a 10 percent Survival Rate? Please folks, pay attention to this.

What are the symptoms?

The main reason why liver cancer has such a poor prognosis is that it doesn’t have specific warning signs. It’s unusual for people with the disease to develop abdominal pain unless they have a very large tumor. Some patients have unexplained weight loss or fevers. When the disease reaches an advanced stage, patients may have sudden abdominal swelling due to fluid buildup, jaundice, or bleeding. During a medical exam, doctors may notice a tender or enlarged liver.

How is the disease diagnosed?

Compounding the difficulty is detecting this disease early, since it often doesn’t show up in routine blood tests, including tests of liver function. Tumors can be detected through imaging tests, like MRI and CT scans. If liver cancer is suspected, doctors will usually do a biopsy, followed by further imaging tests to determine the stage of the disease, if cancer is found.

What’s the treatment?

Treatments for liver cancer include surgery, a liver transplant, radiation therapy, freezing or heating cancer cells to kill them, and injecting chemotherapy drugs into the liver.

What are the best ways to prevent liver cancer?

You can reduce your risk by avoiding IV drug abuse, making sure that hygienic methods are used if you get a tattoo, limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption, not sharing personal items that might expose you to another person’s blood, such as toothbrushes and razors, maintaining a healthy weight, and practicing safe sex.
GREAT Job Lisa Collier Cool! Thanks for taking the time to Post this. Also see PubMed Health - A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia For even MORE information on Liver Cancer.

As I always say folks, if you have ANY questions, doubts, or concerns about your Health, PLEASE go see a Doctor. Early is best. Don't blow it off.
Peter

Sources:
Yahoo Health - What Caused Joe Frazier's Liver Cancer?
PubMed Health - A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia

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